D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange Sr. yesterday attempted to overrule a financial control board decision during a hearing by questioning the term limits, residency and qualifications of D.C. Inspector General Charles C. Maddox.
Mr. Orange, Ward 5 Democrat, is convinced that Mr. Maddox’s term as inspector general expired Tuesday. In a hearing before the Committee on Government Operations, he cited D.C. codes and a council resolution dated May 20, 1999, stating that Mr. Maddox was to serve the remainder of former Inspector General E. Barrett Prettyman Jr.’s term.
“Based on the resolution of the council, the term of Inspector General Maddox’s appointment expires on Jan. 15, 2002, the date Mr. Prettyman’s term expired ” Mr. Orange said.
Members of Mayor Anthony A. Williams’ personnel office, a former general counsel for the control board, and even Mr. Prettyman testified on behalf of Mr. Maddox, saying he definitely was serving a new six-year term.
Neither the control board’s resolution to appoint Mr. Maddox, nor Mr. Williams’ appointment documents specify the duration of the term. The absence of a term limit in the documents gave Mr. Orange the ability to question whether Mr. Maddox should be in office.
“I am surprised that the persons who drafted these [appointment] orders did not make clear the term limits for Mr. Maddox,” said Milou Carolan, director of the mayor’s Office of Personnel.
But Daniel A. Rezneck, former control board general counsel, said that when he drafted the legislation appointing Mr. Maddox, the term limits were never in question and the council had no legal authority to get involved then or now.
“I drafted the resolution appointing Mr. Maddox. It never occurred to me that anyone would question the term,” Mr. Rezneck said. “The control board certainly never questioned the term and the council during a control year had no legal authority.”
The control board did not expire until Sept. 30, 2001. This is the first noncontrol year since 1995.
Mr. Orange was insulted by Mr. Rezneck’s and Mrs. Carolan’s conclusions that the council’s resolution held no merit. “Are you saying that in all the time the control board was here, they never considered the position of the council?” a visibly upset Mr. Orange asked.
The question of whether Mr. Maddox is a D.C. resident was raised several times.
“One of my clerks told me he lived in a condo across the street from Mr. Maddox [in Upper Marlboro]. He said he has only seen him once in all that time and that was after we raised the issue of residency,” Mr. Orange said.
But Mr. Maddox said he and his wife own three properties in Maryland and two condos in the District. “My address is in Washington, D.C. I receive mail at my residence in the District and at Upper Marlboro, where my wife maintains principal resident status,” he said.
He said he purchased his current residence in the District in 1996.
As a matter of practice, the Office of Personnel refers residency investigations of D.C. government agency heads to the inspector general. People working as executive staff members who live outside the city can be granted a waiver by the Office of Personnel, but the council must vote on a waiver for the head of an agency.
Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp, at-large Democrat, suggested that Mr. Orange request a formal investigation of the matter when it became clear that no one on the Government Operations Committee had formally requested one.
D.C. government political insiders told The Washington Times they suspect Mr. Orange and the council are trying to use the residency and qualifications issues as leverage to force Mr. Maddox to release his investigative report on purported campaign-finance improprieties in Mr. Williams’ administration.
Council member David A. Catania, at-large Republican, all but confirmed that when he made a point of mentioning the inspector general’s report in his questions to Mrs. Carolan.
“How under your watch after the campaign-finance issues in the 2000 school board elections which are being investigated now by the inspector general could you not educate your staff as to what is proper?” Mr. Catania asked.